The quality of semiconductor crystals grown by the vertical Bridgman technique is strongly influenced by the axial and radial variations of temperature within the charge. The relationship between the thermal parameters of the vertical Bridgman system and the thermal behavior of the charge are examined. Thermal models are developed which are capable of producing results expressable in analytical form and which can be used without recourse to extensive computer work for the preliminary thermal design of vertical Bridgman crystal growth systems. These models include the effects of thermal coupling between the furnace and the charge, charge translation rate, charge diameter, thickness and thermal conductivity of the confining crucible, thermal conductivity change and liberation of latent heat at the growth interface, and infinite charge length. The hot and cold zone regions, considered to be at spatially uniform temperatures, are separated by a gradient control region which provides added thermal design flexibility for controlling the temperature variations near the growth interface.